Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Batman #112 Review


Where's the Beef?

Writer: James Tynion IV, Brandon Thomas
Artist: Jorge Jimenez, Jason Howard
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 8, 2021

I understand that you have to get everyone up to speed and on the same page, but after last week's underwhelming Batman: Fear State Alpha, I am ready for Fear State to start and hit the ground running!  What better way to get James Tynion's final Batman story underway than with the main book by the man himself?  So, does this issue get me fired up for this story or what?  Let's find out...

I want to get one thing out of the way immediately...this book looks fantastic!  Jorge Jimenez is one of the best artists at DC Comics right now, and if you disagree, you may want to get your eyesight checked.  Unfortunatley, most of my praise for this issue ends right here.

Why is that?  Well, let's go back to the Alpha issue from last week for a second.  As I said above, I understand that you have to get everyone prepped and ready for such a big crossover event.  Not everyone can read every single book coming out, so some overall recap and catchup are needed, even if it is a bit boring for those already caught up with everything.  The problem this week is we spend a lot of the page space catching us up on what happened in the Alpha issue!  Even when we get some new information, Tynion pulls an MC Skat Kat, and we go two steps forward and then two steps back.  Spoiler Alert - nobody likes MC Skat Kat, not even Paula Abdul!

So what do we get?  Well, we get to see the infomercial that Simon Saint is running on all of Gotham's media outlets.  It's nothing shocking and pretty dull overall, yet it takes up pages of the book for some reason.  We see Batman escape the Scarecrow, but Tynion makes Batman so overwhelmed and out of sorts about what is going on that it's enough to make your eyes roll.  I know we are just starting the story, but Batman is already 20 steps behind (Which is way worse than MC Skat Kat - remember, nobody likes him) anything and everything going on, and I am getting tired of reading a Batman who is simply awful at his job.  I know people grew tired of the Bat God who could do anything, but I just want a competent Batman who gets a couple of things in the win column now and again.  Is that too much to ask?

However, the biggest issue is that Peacekeeper-01 is still at large and fully dosed with fear toxin. I was interested in what Simon Saint would do to keep the peace and save face with this whole situation. I mean, his main man and face of the Magistrate is out and about ready to explode.  This is a huge moment to show how smart and evil this man really is.  However, instead of anything clever, Tynion throws a bigger Peacekeeper at the problem in Peacekeeper-X.  Was this supposed to feel big?  It didn't!

There is a backup with Clownhunter, but what is a clown hunter to do in a scarecrow world?  I guess we will have to wait and see since not much happens here, and unfortunatley, Bao gets less and less interesting every time he pops up.  I know that it puts an extra dollar on the cover price, but you can skip it.

I'm sure you can already tell that I didn't care much for this issue.  I was hoping the main Bat book would lead the way and get things going big time, but Tynion is already 0-2, and we just got started.  Who is he, Batman?!?  There is still plenty of time to right the ship, of course, but how can I expect the tie-in books by other writers to be better than the main book done by the main guy?!?  It's starting to look like Tynion might have his focus elsewhere.  I wonder where that would be...  At least the art was great, but it would be nice if Jorge Jimenez had more to do here, but still, what he does, he does great!

Bits and Pieces:

After feeling let down by the Fear State Alpha issue, I was hoping Batman #112 would get me pumped up for this crossover event.  It did not.  The issue looked great, but Tynion gives readers more recap (and recap of recap) and meanders around a bit instead of much forward progression.  I know it just started, but I have not enjoyed this start at all.


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